Sensory cortex underpinnings of traumatic brain injury deficits

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Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in persistent sensorimotor and cognitive deficits including long-term altered sensory processing. The few animal models of sensory cortical processing effects of TBI have been limited to examination of effects immediately after TBI and only in some layers of cortex. We have now used the rat whisker tactile system and the cortex processing whisker-derived input to provide a highly detailed description of TBI-induced long-term changes in neuronal responses across the entire columnar network in primary sensory cortex. Brain injury (n = 19) was induced using an impact acceleration method and sham controls received surgery only (n = 15). Animals were tested in a range of sensorimotor behaviour tasks prior to and up to 6 weeks post-injury when there were still significant sensorimotor behaviour deficits. At 8-10 weeks post-trauma, in terminal experiments, extracellular recordings were obtained from barrel cortex neurons in response to whisker motion, including motion that mimicked whisker motion observed in awake animals undertaking different tasks. In cortex, there were lamina-specific neuronal response alterations that appeared to reflect local circuit changes. Hyper-excitation was found only in supragranular layers involved in intra-areal processing and long-range integration, and only for stimulation with complex, naturalistic whisker motion patterns and not for stimulation with simple trapezoidal whisker motion. Thus TBI induces long-term directional changes in integrative sensory cortical layers that depend on the complexity of the incoming sensory information. The nature of these changes allow predictions as to what types of sensory processes may be affected in TBI and contribute to post-trauma sensorimotor deficits.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere52169
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this

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title = "Sensory cortex underpinnings of traumatic brain injury deficits",
abstract = "Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in persistent sensorimotor and cognitive deficits including long-term altered sensory processing. The few animal models of sensory cortical processing effects of TBI have been limited to examination of effects immediately after TBI and only in some layers of cortex. We have now used the rat whisker tactile system and the cortex processing whisker-derived input to provide a highly detailed description of TBI-induced long-term changes in neuronal responses across the entire columnar network in primary sensory cortex. Brain injury (n = 19) was induced using an impact acceleration method and sham controls received surgery only (n = 15). Animals were tested in a range of sensorimotor behaviour tasks prior to and up to 6 weeks post-injury when there were still significant sensorimotor behaviour deficits. At 8-10 weeks post-trauma, in terminal experiments, extracellular recordings were obtained from barrel cortex neurons in response to whisker motion, including motion that mimicked whisker motion observed in awake animals undertaking different tasks. In cortex, there were lamina-specific neuronal response alterations that appeared to reflect local circuit changes. Hyper-excitation was found only in supragranular layers involved in intra-areal processing and long-range integration, and only for stimulation with complex, naturalistic whisker motion patterns and not for stimulation with simple trapezoidal whisker motion. Thus TBI induces long-term directional changes in integrative sensory cortical layers that depend on the complexity of the incoming sensory information. The nature of these changes allow predictions as to what types of sensory processes may be affected in TBI and contribute to post-trauma sensorimotor deficits.",
author = "Alwis, {Duwage Dasuni Sathsara} and Yan, {Edwina B} and Morganti-Kossmann, {Maria Cristina} and Ramesh Rajan",
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Sensory cortex underpinnings of traumatic brain injury deficits. / Alwis, Duwage Dasuni Sathsara; Yan, Edwina B; Morganti-Kossmann, Maria Cristina; Rajan, Ramesh.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 7, No. 12, e52169, 2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in persistent sensorimotor and cognitive deficits including long-term altered sensory processing. The few animal models of sensory cortical processing effects of TBI have been limited to examination of effects immediately after TBI and only in some layers of cortex. We have now used the rat whisker tactile system and the cortex processing whisker-derived input to provide a highly detailed description of TBI-induced long-term changes in neuronal responses across the entire columnar network in primary sensory cortex. Brain injury (n = 19) was induced using an impact acceleration method and sham controls received surgery only (n = 15). Animals were tested in a range of sensorimotor behaviour tasks prior to and up to 6 weeks post-injury when there were still significant sensorimotor behaviour deficits. At 8-10 weeks post-trauma, in terminal experiments, extracellular recordings were obtained from barrel cortex neurons in response to whisker motion, including motion that mimicked whisker motion observed in awake animals undertaking different tasks. In cortex, there were lamina-specific neuronal response alterations that appeared to reflect local circuit changes. Hyper-excitation was found only in supragranular layers involved in intra-areal processing and long-range integration, and only for stimulation with complex, naturalistic whisker motion patterns and not for stimulation with simple trapezoidal whisker motion. Thus TBI induces long-term directional changes in integrative sensory cortical layers that depend on the complexity of the incoming sensory information. The nature of these changes allow predictions as to what types of sensory processes may be affected in TBI and contribute to post-trauma sensorimotor deficits.

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